This is an interview I did for Canadian Innovation Centre. I was asked to describe my research in the domain of innovation. I mostly talked about my current work on the evolutionary sciences of the digital artifacts, focusing on its implication on design and platform strategy.
The work reflected in the interview was funded in part by National Science Foundation and CIGREF.
Bradley Bloch wrote a post on Huffington Post that the proliferation of non-professional media production increased non-productive consumption of media. He uses an example of a popular YouTube video, 'Charlie Bit Me'. Here is what he wrote:
One of the most popular videos on YouTube, "Charlie bit my finger--again!" depicting a boy sticking his fingers in his little brother's mouth, has been viewed 211 million times. Something that took 56 seconds to create--and which was only intended to be seen by the boys' godfather--has sucked up the equivalent of 1600 people working 40 hours a week for a year. Now that's leverage.
What he did not note is how many different forms of re-creation took place after 'Charlie bit me' video. According to my count, since it was first posted, this short 56-second video inspired more than 5,700 different types of re-mix. Some are simple re-enactment of the same sequence; others are more creative by doing animations, different characters and so on. Some took a completely different forms of expression, such as hip hop dance music. Below is a collection of those re-mix of 'Charlie bit Me' that I use in my presentations to illustrate the generative and unbounded nature of digital innovations.
What Bloch and others like him seem to often fail to note is that the bigger picture of social change is not that we are becoming more stupid due to the digital media consumption, but that the traditional boundary of professional producers and consumers are breaking down.
This is an extraordinarily inspiring speech. It is quite sad to note that the speech is apparently blocked in China. Just being able to watch this video without worrying about the potential consequences of watching it is a precious gift that we should be grateful of.
This is a short video clip that I put together for my class last night. It shows many different adaptations of Charlie Bit me video, which was originally posted in March 2007. Since then, this 55-second video has been watched almost 130 million times. A quick search on You Tube with "Charlie Bit Me" produces 13,900 different videos. Through this clip, I wanted to show the nature of unbound innovation with digital technology to my students. You see how Charlie evolves move to different countries, ages, and gender over time. Then, you see a group of kids doing Charlie. Then, you see a series of animations including Charlie Brown, Unicon, and even Lego characters. It ends with a hip-hop remix of Charlie video and a live performance by a using the track.
Last two days were quite exciting. I was facilitating Reshaping Boundary Workshop, together with Lucy Kimbell who was the primary designer of the workshop. The idea was originally conceived by Fred Collopy as an on-going design inquiry of new way of new way of engaging design and management. While we were somewhat nervous the day before the workshop, it turned out to be better than anyone of us expected. Detailed design and careful preparation of materials and space paid off. What bound participants together, however, I believe was a certain sense of shared purpose, destiny, and urgency.
The idea behind the workshop was the movement between stakeholder experience and the invisible structure that generates that experience. The participants were given a persona of a stakeholder and asked to start from the reflection of their current image to the imagination of the future. The first day ended with a 2D sketch of the future experience and structure.